The Trump-Clinton presidential race has brought out the absolute worst in people, especially Christians. With verbal claws and fangs out, under the cloak of love for God, Republicans prey on Democrats and Democrats prey on Republicans. It is quite embarrassing. So, how should we respond to followers of Jesus who support Trump and Clinton?
So, let me say at the outset that I have not decided for whom I am voting. I can’t, in good conscience, seem to bring myself to vote for either one of these candidates. I have very good reasons to withhold my vote. However, though tempted, my reasons do not give me freedom to excoriate supporters of either candidate.
Yet, during this season, I have seen supposed godly men and women “lose their religion,” and speak evil of their Christian brothers and sisters who support Trump or Clinton. The hatred, the verbal missiles, the deplorable and reprehensible language, and the utter vitriol that protrudes from the mouths of my brothers and sisters is embarrassing and even sinful. I am not judging, just making an observation.
I have heard Christians supporting Trump speak evil and deprecate the image of God in Clinton supporters. I have heard Christians who support Clinton scorch the image of God and say unspeakable things about Trump supporters. This grieves the Holy Spirit and it should grieve every follower of Jesus. So, the larger question for me is, how should we respond to our Trump and Clinton supporting brothers and sisters?
Pray for Them
The Bible calls all Christians to pray for one another, not prey on one another. I have heard more Christians excoriate other believers for their decision to vote for Clinton or Trump. Remember, your Trump and Clinton supporting Christian friends, relatives and neighbors are your brothers and sisters in Christ. One of our responsibilities is to value them enough to pray for them and consider them better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4).
The Bible calls us to respect one another. Respecting one another means we should have an attitude of reverence and deference, reflecting an appreciation of the significance of each person. God created every human being in his image. So, we should graciously honor and esteem every person, including every Clinton and Trump supporter. Each has dignity and worth and is deserving of our respect.
The Bible calls us to love one another. Love is a caring commitment, which unconditionally fights for the highest good of another person. This devotion is grounded in the nature of God himself. In his words and actions, and supremely in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, God demonstrates the nature of love and defines the direction in which human love in all its forms should develop. Thus, God is the source of love. His very essence is love. He has graciously shared this attribute with his people and we are to share it with others, especially brothers and sisters who support Clinton or Trump.
Be Patient with Them
The Bible calls us to exhibit the quality of self-control which shows itself in a willingness to wait upon others to develop and grow. Patience is a characteristic of love.
Having a difference of opinions should not lead us to dismiss our brothers and sisters as enemies. Remember, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities. Each believer is in a different place. Therefore, we should bear with and attempt to understand other people’s point of view. Instead of losing our cool, we should let the Holy Spirit develop a patient character. So, let’s be patient with our brothers and sisters who support Trump or Clinton.
The Bible calls us to bless and not insult others. When a person with a different political opinion insults us, God commands to respond with a blessing. Blessing others means that we should bestow tangible benefits on people or to ask God to bestow tangible benefits on someone.
So, we should not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this we were called so that you may inherit a blessing. Remember, fools show their annoyance at once, but the wise and prudent overlook an insult. Therefore, if a Trump supporter insults you because you support Clinton, bless them. If a Clinton supporter insults you because you support Trump, bless them.
We Are Lights in Darkness
People will know that we follow Jesus by how we love and treat one another. If we continue to attack one another, then we are no better than people who do not follow Jesus. We are lights that shine in darkness, pointing people to the Light of the world. So, during this political season, let’s act like it.
How do you tend to respond to people who have a different political point of view?
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